Senior in Action – Gloria Cevallos

Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen
Former County of LA Public Library Administrator is having the time of her life as a retiree; meeting fascinating people who are active seniors, and volunteering for Soroptimist International of Norwalk and other women’s groups.

Senior in Action – Gloria Cevallos
by Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen

Gloria Cevallos was born June 23, 1943. She credits her current good health to walking every day at the park and making good use of her membership at 24 Hour Fitness. She has learned the value of eating a healthy diet with proteins and a variety of fruits and vegetables. “Sometimes I blend a raw egg white into my fruit and veggie smoothies,” Gloria adds.

“I’m famous for my dish called quesada made with ground meat, potatoes, bell peppers, and onions. I also love to bake.”

Gloria likes to socialize and bowl with friends at the local bowling alley. You might find Gloria taking dance classes at the Irwindale Senior Center or “cutting the rug” at West Covina Senior Center on Cortez Street at Thursday night dances. Her favorite Latin dance is the Salsa. Gloria is a fan of karaoke. Her favorite singers are Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke and Tony Bennett. If she had to choose a karaoke song to perform, it would be “Sabor a Mi” or Connie Francis’ pop song, “How much is that Doggie in the Window.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gloria married her husband Tony Alvarez and raised three children. When asked how many grandchildren she has, Gloria laughed, “I can’t even count them, there are so many.”

But she quickly shared that daughter Rosemary lives in Ontario and has five children and seven grandchildren. Her middle daughter Christina in Pomona has four children and three grandchildren. Gloria’s youngest son Anthony is still a bachelor. (Did you do the math? How many grandchildren and great-grandchildren does Gloria have?) Gloria and her husband separated 15 years ago. Although she lives alone, she finds fulfillment through volunteering and being with family. At the Irwindale Senior Center, Gloria assists with food service, and she volunteers at Queen of the Valley Hospital passing out booklets to patients. She still drives, and typically visits her grandchildren and great-grandchildren once or twice a month on Sundays. It’s important to be part of their lives, teaching them that God and Grandma love them.

Gloria develops her spirituality by attending Bible Study classes and writes inspirational poetry to lift up and motivate her family and friends. Her father was Catholic, and her mother attended a Methodist Church. As a young girl, Gloria attended church with her mom. Now, Gloria worships at Christ Extended Hand Church in Baldwin Park.

She offers the following advice to Not Born Yesterday readers:

  • Stay active!
  • Discover your gifts. Everyone has gifts given by God. It might be praying or encouraging someone. Maybe your gift is singing or cooking. Motivate other seniors to rise up and explore what’s out there for them. If you pray to God, He will show you your talents.
  • Find a spiritual home. Gloria invites you to try the nondenominational church, Christ Extended Hand Church if you live near Baldwin Park.
  • Find a friend who will be there for you. We all need friends.

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